The graduation photo reads, "Jinan University, you fucked my youth!" (Internet photo)
A photo of graduates from a well-known Guangzhou university advertising department has triggered heated debate on the internet, according to Information Times, a newspaper based in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.
In the photo, the students of the class of 2008 are holding a banner which reads, "Jinan University advertisement class, you have fucked my youth." Behind the banner, each student is holding a card with their twisted wishes on it, such as hoping for a wealthy wife or for rape. The cultural critic Liu Yang spoke out against the graduation photo, which has been forwarded madly on microblogs.
Liu even said if he wanted to hire people, he wouldn't recruit students from the university, saying, "This university has been blacklisted."
Hordes of netizens denounced Liu's response. The controversial Peking University professor Kong Qingdong wrote that he had given lectures at the university and "felt that the quality of the students was not bad." Some students wrote that there is no need to exaggerate the effect of what is only a graduation photo and that the criticism reflects that China still lacks a sense of social tolerance. Other students expressed that judging the quality of a student from a single photo is rash.
"If a youth dyes his hair like parrot feathers, I could totally understand it," said Yong He, a university teacher. In his view, the photo has nothing to do with the moral character of the students in it. He said Liu Yang's words do not have the power to determine the future of these students, even admitting that he likes the students in this photo. "If the students have the courage to take such an edgy picture, they probably have the ability to endure a variety of criticism," Yong said.